As we are now living permanently in Champéry, we are not renting out our home for the time being.
The weather in the mountains changes quickly. Never venture out without checking the forecast first – summer as well as winter.
The Tourist Information Office in Champéry on the Grande Rue opposite the church) also posts daily forecasts.
Summer in Champéry is as fun as the winter. Summer temperatures are usually in the mid 20s, frequently much higher.
Our proximity to the Palladium sports complex means you are literally a few steps away from a beautiful outdoor swimming pool, an ice-rink for skating or ice-hockey, a climbing wall, an indoor pool and a fitness centre.
Mountain bikes are a big deal during the summer months, and you can easily get as far into France using lifts and pedal power as you can when ski-ing. The World MTB Championship course provides the best riders with a supreme test of their skills.
Other summer activities (some are also available in winter) include:
* climbing through the trees and zip down zip wires at Accrobranche du Dahu
* paragliding with Vincent Marclay – an experience not to be missed
* relaxing in the thermal baths at Val D’Illiez or Lavey
* riding horses
* enjoying a traditional Raclette evening in Les Rives
* shopping in Monthey
* taking tea and cake in the Salon de Thé
* rock climbing
* tackling the Via Ferrata
The Portes du Soleil ski area is the largest integrated ski domain in Europe. It straddles the French-Swiss border and comprises 14 resorts served by more than 200 lifts. There are more than 250 pistes, 7 snow parks, 3 half-pipes, 240km of cross country skiing, over 1000 instructors – the list goes on and on.
The slopes are reached by a three minute walk from the apartment to the impressive cable car which takes you up to Croix de Culet in around 7 minutes.
The skiing is largely intermediate, with some challenging black runs (including the infamous Swiss Wall) and gentler blue runs for novices.
There are several ski schools in Champéry offering private and group lessons for all levels in both skiing and boarding. Ski passes cost around £150 a week for access to the whole Portes du Soleil area. It’s cheaper if you are happy to stay on the Swiss side or only want to ski for a few hours.
There is night skiing by floodlight twice a week on the Swiss side, when the cable car and main lifts run into the evening, weather permitting. There are snow cannons on the main slopes for those times when the weather fails.
It’s possible to ski back down almost to Champéry using the long and relatively benign Ripaille-Grand Paradis route. A free bus brings you back to the cable car terminus.
Insider’s tip: if you don’t fancy queuing behind the ski school kids for the cable car each morning, take the free bus 5 minutes along the road to Grand Paradis and take the express chair lift up to Planachaux: a much quieter way to start the day.
Chalet Les Marmottes is just five minutes walk* from the cable car. You’re also within easy reach of ski shops, supermarkets and the village’s nightlife and restaurants.
Our self-catering apartment occupies the whole of the ground floor of Les Marmottes and sleeps up to seven people. There are three bedrooms, two bathrooms (both with wc) and a large sitting-dining room. Two of the bedrooms have double beds, the other has three bunk beds. The kitchen has a full sized cooker, a microwave, a fridge freezer and a dishwasher.
The apartment is mostly wood-panelled in the local style. Heating is provided by a traditional Swiss mazout stove and a wood-burning fire. The heat generated by these ensures the whole apartment is kept very warm indeed. We usually find that one is sufficient, even in the depths of winter.
Outside there is a private fenced and gated area for your exclusive use, where you can eat out in summer or build snowmen in winter. While we regard it as safe for our children, don’t forget that the railway line is nearby and the pedestrian crossing does not have automatic barriers.
The apartment is equipped with high-speed wifi. We will provide the access code for your party to use when you make your final payment.
We have UK FreeSat TV with standard free-to-air UK channels, as well as Swiss and European cable TV and a DVD player. A selection of DVDs is provided.
Electricity and heating and basic cleaning and bed linen are included in the cost of your stay. You should make sure you have comprehensive insurance for the duration of your stay and for any sports you are planning to undertake.
Our Neighbours: Opposite us is the Chalet Joli Nid which is usually rented out in winter. Next door on one side is a Swiss/English family and on the other, the Palladium Sports Centre. The Palladium has indoor and outdoor swimming pools, ice skating and curling rinks and a fitness suite.
Location: Just off the road which runs through the lower part of the village. The mountain railway which connects Champéry to Monthey runs nearby. It’s not noisy though as the road is rarely busy even during the peak ski season and the train only runs once in each direction every hour.
Outside: There is a fenced, gated and secluded south-facing area where you can eat out in summer or build snowmen in winter. It is big enough to play cricket or basketball, or to have the mother of all snowball fights. The choice is yours.
* we know because we timed it. Allow slightly longer when you’re wearing ski boots. The best thing is there are no steep hills to climb at the end of the day and no waiting for the shuttle bus back to your hotel.
You can consult the Bulletin d’enneigement which is updated daily in the season. Click on the image for up to date information at Les Crosets.